Life at Ferrari “a lot better” than last year – Raikkonen

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: Kimi Raikkonen says life under the new Ferrari management is “a lot better” than it was last year.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Kimi Raikkonen pleased with improved situation at Ferrari in 2015 (Sky)

"Asked if the current situation hadn’t always been the case, Raikkonen replied: 'It’s different than last year and it’s a lot better.'"

Force India B-spec delayed again (Autosport)

"We would love to have it for Barcelona but that didn't happen so I think Silverstone will be the first time we have a new package."

Bottas plays down Ferrari speculation (Reuters)

"There's a lot of people making up stuff."

'Upgrades in every area' at McLaren (F1i)

"There’s upgrades in every area really. We haven’t come here with a second of lap time, because that just doesn’t happen in Formula One these days, even when you start where we did."

Fernando Alonso Q&A: McLaren’s season starts this weekend (F1)

"Q: When was the last time that you were really happy in a car? That kind of ‘this is the best car I’ve ever driven’ happiness? FA: I think probably in 2005 - I had that feeling of having a superior car. Also in 2010 - my first year with Ferrari - I was quite surprised about the performance, and I was happy."

Lewis Hamilton column: Racing Moss, Stiller filming & Spain aim (BBC)

"Mercedes also had an old F1 safety car there and I took that out on the banking, too."

Spanish Grand Prix - The Drivers Face The Press (F1 via YouTube)

Circuit de Catalunya, circa 1991 (F1 Speedwriter)

"During Thursday's two-hour familiarization session I stood beside a burly Spanish crane operator who had tears streaming down his face, deeply moved by the shrieking spectacle of 33 flame-spitting F1 cars attacking the virgin ashpalt."

Focus on... European GP 1997 (Renault)

"In the end, Louis Schweitzer and Patrick Faure said we needed to stop F1 as we had nothing left to prove. Jerez was our last race. We had asked Bernie (Ecclestone) to have the last race in Europe for a large TV audience, and we wanted to win and leave in front."


GP2 team ART, who run McLaren junior driver Stoffel Vandoorne and Honda-backed racer Nobuharu Matsushita, will use McLaren’s new livery from this weekend.


Comment of the day

Mercedes have hired Esteban Ocon, who already has enough superlicence points to race in F1 next year, as a DTM test driver, while their F1 tester Pascal Wehrlein won’t have any by the end of the year:

I’m wondering what will happen with Wehrlein considering the new superlicence rules – unless I misunderstand something about them, I believe Wehrlein will have none of the 40 points required by 2016, as by that point he will have been racing in DTM for the past three years (which gives no superlicence points). Won’t he have to try and get some strong championship finishes in Euro F3/GP2/GP3 etc… over the next three years if he wants to have any hope of getting a superlicence any time soon? To be eligible for a superlicence by 2017 he would have to do something like win Euro F3 or get a top two finish in GP2 next year, as it looks like he is just going to be doing DTM this year.

If Mercedes want him to be ready for F1 in case of an unexpected driver departure, I would’ve thought they would’ve put him in one of the junior formulas by now. Going by Toto’s comments at the beginning of the year, it seems like they would be more likely to put Alonso or Bottas in the car if one of their drivers left in the near future anyway – it’s starting to sound like Mercedes might need a junior team soon!

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Miguel and Tororosso!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Kimi Raikkonen denied Fernando Alonso a first victory in his home race ten years ago today:

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

35 comments on “Life at Ferrari “a lot better” than last year – Raikkonen”

  1. Nice move by ART there!!

    Is it just me, or do we often tend to hear drivers ‘playing down’ speculation before we actually hear the speculation to begin with?

    1. I assume you mean Bottas … the speculation is out there, but it seems to be mainly coming from Bottas’ own manager, so somebody should ask him if he feels his manager (Mika Hakkinen) is making up stuff.

      1. Alexander (@)
        8th May 2015, 5:48

        I think Häkkinen was involved in Bottas’ career in the beginning but now days it’s Didier Coton and Toto Wolff…
        It’s just the media making/hyping stuff up.

    2. De vries was running the pre-barcelona McLaren livery on his 3.5. DAMS.

  2. The new superlicence rules are about as lovely as the brown things in my house’ septic tank.

    1. @davidnotcoulthard – Grief will likely come the way of fans and potential F1 drivers alike as the new superlicense rules come into effect. Some drivers who may meet the new qualifications will undoubtedly get seats before some more talented and deserving drivers. We all know this will happen.

      The saddest irony here is that the rules appear to have been a knee jerk reaction to the age of Max Verstappen. Max has proven himself qualified and able to drive proficiently and competitively in F1 regardless of his chronological age.

      Maybe the rules were a bit loose previously. But, the onus was on the teams to hire drivers with the proper skill levels, maturity and experience. Then the driver had to qualify under FIA requirements for their superlicense. What was wrong with that? If the FIA wished to put an age limit on the qualifications they should have done just that. Instead the FIA have created a tangled mess that will end up not even serving them well. This will come to tears and F1 fans will likely suffer in the process.

    2. Perhaps the Superlicence rules are not so strict in reality than on paper. Perhaps they will make exceptions for great talents with insufficient points (for instance Wehrlein). But at the same time the FIA has the tools to prevent fortune seekers with rich dads or sponsors to enter the sport.

      1. Unlikely, they will maybe reconsider the points for each category, maybe give some for other series, but I doubt one driver could just ‘pass’ like that.

  3. From the Kimi article – “And while stopping short of suggesting he wasn’t given parity alongside Alonso”

    This is journalism at its nadir. Although its not explicitly stating anything, its basically implying that Kimi wasnt given parity, with no basis whatsoever. I find this pathetic.

    They should probably dream up something a bit more creative, for example, that Fernando has a clause in his contract stating that his team mate can only score a third of the points he scores!

    1. “In the end in the team there’s two cars and, yes, we fight for the Drivers’ Championship as the drivers, but the team wants to win the manufacturers’ championship and you need to have two cars for that. In the end Ferrari wants Ferrari to win and they will give us both the same chances and fair treatment. So it’s up to us. We try to behave as well as we can against each other if we have to race, we try to beat each other, but in a good way and in the interests of the team.”

      Asked if the current situation hadn’t always been the case, Raikkonen replied: “It’s different than last year and it’s a lot better.”

      This statement from Kimi suggests what Sky have written. See nothing wrong in what Sky have written then. @jaymenon10

      1. @evered7 – “Asked if the current situation hadn’t always been the case, Raikkonen replied: “It’s different than last year and it’s a lot better.” ”

        “Different” could be construed as per one’s opinion:
        – could be “different from last yr because “I was new and was clueless in a new team/car; now I’m more at ease” ”
        – could be “different from last yr as the 2014 car sucked and there was little to fight for, unlike this year’s car”
        – could be “different from last yr because as the 2014 car sucked, team moral was crap – this year’s car is far better, so it is team feels much different”
        – … you get the drift.

        So Sky are entitled to there interpretation – but that’s just being selective to their own bias. I think that is what @jaymenon10 is highlighting.

        1. He isn’t talking about the performance of the car in particular but rather the chances and treatment of the drivers last season. When he says it is different AND it is ‘better’, it means this year there is much more chance of both drivers fighting for spots in a race than be instructed to act in some way. That and the various incidents during 2010 year/Massa-Alonso period at Ferrari could imply such a meaning to readers.

    2. Yeah, ‘pathetic’ nails it. Alonso turned his back on Ferrari, so they’re happy to use him as an all-raound scapegoat. Räikkönen’s performance last year sucked plain and simply – blame it on Alonso. Last year’s car sucked? Blame it on Alonso. The atmosphere was poisoned last year due to many important figures being replaced by nigh-incompetent People who didn’t even last a year? Blame the atmosphere on Alonso.

      They annoy me to no end.

  4. Daniel (@dstaplet13)
    8th May 2015, 2:41

    So Ferrari have changed their ICE once so does that mean they are on their 1st engine still or have they used 2 of the 4 engine allowed?

    1. They are on the second engine but in Bahrain Vettel said it was a pre-planned thing.It means that first engine will just be used for friday running till it blows up (as happened to Alo last year with a friday engine) or simply stops working. This puts less stress on this 2nd engine at the beginning of its life and gives them a bit of leeway before spending their tokens for the 3rd and 4th one.

      1. However, it does also come with the disadvantage that Ferrari have now had to postpone their planned engine upgrade until they start using their third engine – instead of introducing those upgrades for the Spanish GP, it looks as if they will now have to postpone those changes until either the Canadian or Austrian GP’s.

        1. The upgrades were planned to arrive at Canadian GP anyway.

        2. The Spanish Gp is only the 5th of the year,early enough to introduce aero and bodywork updates but too early to start chasing big engine upgrades already…They are gonna use this engine for 3-4 races then convert it to friday engine when they bring the updated one!Makes a great deal of sense using updated and final engines for the last 9-10 races only.Pretty sure renault and honda planned more or less the same but reliability is forcing them to change everything

  5. Daniel (@dstaplet13)
    8th May 2015, 2:54

    Would not be surprised if Bottas made a move to Ferrari next season.

    But then again if this is dependent on Kimi’s performance then it is surely far too early to hold any discussions with any driver about moving to Ferrari. It would be rash to make performance based decisions heading into the 5th race of the season. However, I would understand it if Kimi has spoken to them about retiring at the end of the season and has not publicly made it known yet (but that is pure speculation on my part).

    1. Alexander (@)
      8th May 2015, 5:50

      I think Kimi has been clear about wanting to continue with Ferrari next season. Or Arrivabene has been clear about it.

    2. What makes Bottas such a hot prospect for Ferrari? He hasn’t been all that spectacular at the start of 2015. He enjoyed a good race in Bahrain, but other than that weekend he has been at Felipe Massa’s level.

      1. Being at Massas level is actually very good for a still relatively Young driver. Massa is underrated in my opinion and he was also once drafted by Ferrari. However, I think that both Bottas and Kimi will stay where they are for 2016.

        1. The reason Massa was signed by Ferrari is because he was willing to be subservient to Schumacher when Barrichello left.

      2. @todfod Exactly! Massa’s return seems more possible on current form. Unless Bottas does destroy Massa at the end of the season standings (no reliabilty issues for both considered), no reason why Ferrari should go for the younger Finn when the older Finn is running just fine.

    3. I still think a move from Hulkenberg to Ferrari in 2017 is more likely.

  6. Neil (@neilosjames)
    8th May 2015, 4:06

    RE: CoTD/Wehrlein… only realistic way to properly qualify him licence for 2016 would be to buy him at least five races at Manor this year.

    But I like to think that for the first few years, the FIA will be a little bit flexible. Can’t just drop something like this on young drivers with no notice and screw their careers. Ideally, I think points should only count from 2018.

  7. I read in that Arrivabene says, that Ferrari’s car will be 70 percent different from the first four races. I wonder, how many tenths they can bring to the car and whether they can close the gap to Mercs a bit.

    1. It can very well be a bad thing to make a good car totally different. But I an confident that Ferraris engineers have made a good job and the difference to Mercedes will be smaller than before. How will Mercedes respond?

  8. To be honest, I thought that that was a picture of the HRT rather than a McLaren Honda.

    1. Actually it is an ART gp2 car.

      1. Lewisham Milton
        8th May 2015, 12:22

        and, in first practice, it’s only three tenths slower than a McLaren Honda…

      2. What a shame.. the white/red colour they ran before looked good and in some ways is the colour that McLaren should have taken on themselves (maybe with some black as well).

        1. BJ (@beejis60)
          8th May 2015, 18:18

          @fastiesty they said days ago that it would be a graphite color. That is no where near the hue of white.

          1. @beejis60 Ah, I meant the ART GP2 car/livery.

  9. In Hamilton’s BBC article, he said the Mercedes W196 had a V12. It actually had a straight-8.

Comments are closed.